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Weekend Predictions: Will Box Office Records Be Avenged?

May 3rd, 2012

The Avengers. That's all that really matters. The Avengers has no competition from any film playing this weekend and will finish in first place by a margin of well over $100 million. It has no competition with any film that opened last year and it might beat Thor's opening by $100 million. Its only real competition comes from The Hunger Games for biggest opening of the year at $152.54 million, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, for Biggest Opening of All Time.

The Avengers is the culmination of a plan that started back in 2008 with the release of Iron Man. Super Hero movies have been box office gold for a while now, but the thought of making a super hero team scared studios, because they thought it was asking too much of moviegoers to know all of the characters and their backstories and relationships, while introducing them all in one movie would take far too much time, leaving no room for plot. Introducing a number of characters in their own movie before combining them into one movie seemed like the only real solution, but would moviegoers be interested in a overall continuity that spanned multiple franchises?

We are about to find out how North American audiences will react, but there are some great signs going into the film's opening. Firstly, the movie is earning Oscar worthy reviews. I know, it's a Super Hero movie, so Awards Season voters will likely ignore it, for the most part, but at 92% positive, it's reviews are better than half of last year's Best Picture Nominees. Secondly, the film has already opened in numerous international markets and has scored record-breaking debuts in many of them. Doing a bit of math... with an international opening of $181.5 million in 70% of the international marketplace, and assuming a 40% / 60% domestic / international breakdown at the global box office, we get an opening of $172.86 million. Could The Avengers earn that much money in the next three days? It is possible. It is on the high end of expectations, I won't deny that. However, given the tracking numbers and the pre-sales for tickets, coming close is possible. I'm predicting $167 million, which is just shy of the record, but even if I'm off by $40 million, it will be more than enough to ensure a sequel, plus other ensemble super hero movies.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, There are other movies playing in theaters besides The Avengers; some are still pulling in millions of dollars. The best of the rest will be Think Like a Man, which should add another $9 million to its running tally, lifting it to $74 million. This is more than enough to ensure a profit.

There should be a logjam for third place with four films each earning $5 million, plus or minus $1 million. The Pirates! Band of Misfits should lead this pack with $6 million. It doesn't share a lot of its target audience with The Avengers, but families might want to avoid crowds. The Hunger Games has shown very strong legs after the typical sophomore stint Fanboy thumping, so it should place fourth with just over $5 million. Five-Year Engagement opened behind The Lucky One last weekend, but the latter is losing some theaters and that will likely cost it a spot in the top five. Both films should make just under $5 million over the weekend.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, The Avengers, The Five-Year Engagement, The Hunger Games, The Lucky One, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Think Like a Man